Christian Long

Helen Fisher: Studies the Brain on Love

In TED Talks on April 26, 2010 at 9:14 pm

Reflection by KATHERINE H.

Original TED page w/ speaker bio, links, comments, etc:

Helen Fisher:  Studies the Brain on Love

It all starts as a child, with ‘cooties’ that is.

Helen Fisher explains were insights on love, accepted and unaccepted. She began her study by putting 32 people into an MRI brainscan machine, while asking them questions she studied the brainwaves reacting. As well as questions, she showed them pictures of their loved ones opposed to a neutral photo, as can be imagined the brainwaves were probably reacting strongly.

I am sure everyone has heard the phrase “love is blind”, and indeed it proves to be in many cases. It is not necessarily always a bad thing, she exemplifies the first step in love, ‘special meaning’ of a person. While this first step may seem simple like a crush, there are many complications that may be faced. Do they like me? Am I reading the situation differently? Is this too fast? Do I just feel comfortable having a new close friend?

In short, what does this mean?

The feeling may not be mutual of course, and in that case love is rejected which causes people to go to extreme measures, such as suicide. After watching this video, I became interested on the rate of suicidal attempts caused by rejection. I reasearched and did not find an exact number, though I did come upon an interesting article: “Obsessive Love Disorder” [see below for link]. I had no idea that there was an actual psychological illness, the article expolains mostly about mother and child, though the scenario may be applied to other relationships.

“This obsessive world is created by an intense deprivation of wish and need fulfillment. Because basic needs of love, nurturance and acceptance have been denied, the injured person “trips” to the world of obsessions to avoid feeling internal anxiety.”


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